Saigon beckons againBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The original “Miss Saigon” Lea Salonga posted on Facebook: “I am slowly hearing about callbacks … I gotta say, nothing unexpected about the names of those returning [for another round]. Yay!”
Once again, producers behind the mega-musical “Miss Saigon” are conducting Manila auditions, and some of those who have been asked so far to return for round two are familiar names.
On the first day (Nov. 19) of the tryouts at the Opera Haus in Makati, ABS-CBN star Karylle and theater actors Cathy Azanza, Cara Barredo, Noel Rayos, OJ Mariano, Topper Fabregas, Jake Macapagal and Lawrence Martinez sailed through the first round—along with young stars Julia Abueva, who starred in the Singapore production of “Spring Awakening”; and Tippy Dos Santos, who was in the cast of the movie musical “I Do Bidoo Bidoo.”
Kapuso discoveries Frencheska Farr, who played the lead in the Chito Roño movie musical “Emir,” and Aicelle Santos, a singing champion, returned for the second callback yesterday.
Spotted signing up and falling in line on the second day (on Tuesday) was another singing champ, Rachelle Ann Go, who was likewise asked to return for the third test, the dance tryouts this week.
The sight of established stars like Karylle and Rachelle Ann going through the wringer can teach newcomers a valuable lesson in humility and professionalism—that no star is big enough not to audition.
K-La Rivera, a product of the Kapamilya talent search “Star Power” and lead star of the Atlantis musical “Aladdin,” tried her luck as well.
She told the Philippine Daily Inquirer how she prepared for the audition: “I checked out the videos on You-Tube. I researched and rehearsed the songs. I worked with vocal coach Anne Quintos of The CompanY.”
Her hard work paid off because she got a callback.
Lea shared precious advice to K-La. “Lea saw our play ‘In the Heights’ and she told me backstage that I should just be myself and make sure to let the emotions come out when I audition. I really value the tips she gave me.”
Tom Rodriguez, K-La’s “Aladdin” costar, auditioned as well.
“I wanted to familiarize myself with the process,” Tom said. “I wanted to conquer my fears, too. I went in not expecting to get in. I just wanted to experience it.”
Photos by Arnold Almacen
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